At the end of the year, Brownstoner found out that the beautiful, strange and controversial Broken Angel building was being marketed by a local real estate brokerage. Some people have questioned the situation, because owners Arthur and Cindy Wood had enlisted the help from the public to fight the Department of Buildings crackdown (the DOB said the fanciful structure was unsound), and now it looks like the property originally bought for $2,000 may be sold for $1.4 million. Their son Chris Wood explains why the building is for sale.
I hope that everyone has had a good beginning to the New Year. I would like to address certain questions and statements that have been posted online as to the fate of Broken Angel. It is true that Broken Angel is for sale. The only financial donation that my parents received was a check for $10.00 and this was never cashed. In addition a small amount of money has been generated from the sale of a few photographs, this money covered the costs of copying the plans for the architects and engineers. The help that we have received has been in the form of various people’s time and expertise and we really do appreciate their efforts. My family and I are very sorry if these generous people feel that their time has been wasted by this experience. We are still trying through the courts to save the building.
Our current understanding of the situation is that my father has been given a month to remove the entire wooden structure from the top of the building. If he does not, then the Department of Buildings will move in, do the work and zero out the value of the property. This point was driven home when we received a phone call from a member of the Department of Buildings to this effect the morning after Christmas. My father has never been given any indication that he will be allowed to reside in the building if the work is completed by the Department of Buildings. One month is not enough time to get a contractor, much less to have them complete the work. From the beginning we have been asking for a clear statement of what work needs to be done, and a reasonable time in which to accomplish that work, we have still not received this from the City.
My parents are senior citizens, they have a small fixed income and since they have been evicted from their home, no permanent residence. It is a hard situation for anyone to be in. They don’t want to sell their home, a building that was their dream, and labor for 28 years, but at this point they don’t see many alternatives.
That's so very sad. Gowanus Lounge hopes that "someone will step in and save and preserve this treasure" but it sounds pretty dire. And it sounds like the Woods much rather have Broken Angel than all the money in the world.